Aragonès and most of the Catalan Government will participate in the demonstration on Catalonia Day
The Generalitat institutional act will commemorate Pau Casals's speech at the UN
BarcelonaDecision taken. The president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, will attend the demonstration organised by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) on Catalonia Day. It was not an easy decision, taking into account that the president's party, ERC, and the pro-independence entity have long had difficult relations and a different strategy. ERC is in favour of dialogue with the State and, on the other hand, the Assembly defends unilateralism. Be that as it may, the president will attend the protest and will be accompanied by "the bulk of the government". The independence wants a display of unity despite the lack of consensus within the movement on the route to follow.
It was the spokeswoman of the Catalan executive, Patrícia Plaja, who informed of the decision. She has argued that Aragonès will be present, "as every year". She even wanted to highlight his long commitment to independence: "Ever since he was a teenager". The slogan chosen by the ANC for this occasion is "Fight and win independence", which can be adapted to all non-coincident strategies of the movement. The only councillor who will certainly not be on the route between Plaça Urquinaona and Estació de França will be the Catalan Minister of Home Affairs, Joan Ignasi Elena. As always, the person in charge of security will be in the coordination centre, which will be following the days events.
Aragonès, therefore, has finally decided to go to the protest, despite the fact that there were precedents of all sorts. Artur Mas never went to any demonstrations on Catalonia Day -which have been big since 2012- arguing that his status as president deserved an institutional role that did not allow him to go to rallies. Although he hesitated until the last moment, he refused even in 2015, when the September 11 protest took place in the middle of the Catalan election campaign and he was the candidate of JxSí. His successor, however, attended the two he could: Carles Puigdemont took part in the concentrations in both 2016 and 2017. Finally, Quim Torra took part in 2018 and 2019, but skipped it in 2020. This last year was the first Catalonia Day during a pandemic and Torra, one of the maximum defenders of restrictive measures to combat the virus, considered that the most prudent would be not to go to the demonstration.
The ANC's demonstration will not be the only event on Catalonia Day. The Government will hold its own institutional act on Saturday at 22 h, which will be a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Pau Casals's speech before the Assembly of the United Nations. The Generalitat wanted to recover the event in order to vindicate the values of "peace, justice, the freedom of peoples, Catalan culture and fraternity". Marta Bayarri will be the artistic director of the show, which will take place in front of Puig i Cadafalch's four columns in Montjuic. The Catalan Government will also include presenting the Generalitat's Gold Medals -to Arcadi Oliveres and Josefina Castellví-, the traditional floral offering to the monument of Rafael Casanova and the president's speech, which will be made from the Hospital de Sant Pau. One of the reasons why the hospital has been chosen is because it is a centre for vaccination against covid.